Today, I started to feel more at home…and by that, I mean it rained all day.
I successfully made it the the university again by bus and all of the international students were given an hour and a half long presentation on how to register for classes, which is a lot more complicated than anyone could have imagined. We are given two weeks to submit a paper stating which classes we are going to take, but classes begin on Monday, so the obvious dilemma is that we aren’t sure if we are just supposed to show up to classes next week without having officially registered or what exactly. Lots of questions to ask tomorrow.
After a short day at the university, I explored more. I walked for about an hour to one of Montevideo’s most popular shopping malls and had lunch. A sandwich called a Napolitano, which is basically lots of mozzarella, tomatoes, ham, and oregano. Delicious!
I found a store where I could buy some towels and an extra blanket to stay warm. To pay, I wanted to use my debit card, and this was the first time I had tried doing so. The lady at the register asked me for a form of documentation so I showed her my driver’s license. No problem there. However, when you sign the receipt, you’re supposed to write down the documentation’s number, and clearly, I had no idea what this was. Three of the workers also looked at my license and had no idea what to write, so they just wrote “Washington”.
Afterwards, I wanted to get some coffee, so I made my way to a nice little cafe. Apparently at such cafes, or at least the one I was at, you’re supposed to sit down at a table and a barista will bring you the coffee and snack menu. Being a foreigner, of course I did not know, so I just stood in front of the cashier until they asked me if I needed help and they explained how it all worked. At least their coffee was really good!
Despite the miscommunications, the rain, and obvious lack of knowledge of local customs on my part, it was all a good learning experience for future endeavors.
Tomorrow, all of the non-native Spanish speaking international students are required to take an oral and written exam to test our level of Spanish. Wish me luck!